Victory 75, an Anthology

This is Electric Eclectic’s Storybook celebrating the 75th VE-Day anniversary 8th May 2020.

These tales are dedicated to all the brave and unsung heroes who made victory possible by their sacrifice.

While each story carries a personal dedication, each is written with respect and gratitude to all those who gave their lives for our libery and freedoms.


Contributing Authors and Their Stories

The Dome of St Paul’s Karen J Mossman

Patricia, Annie and Jean by Paul White

Butterflies of Dunkirk by Claire Plaisted

Rosemary for Remembrance By Julia Blake

We’ll Meet Again by Jane Risdon

99th Squadron by Audrina Lane


Read the story behind Karen’s The Dome of St Paul’s.

Read the story of Audrina’s 99th Squadron


Down by the River by Karen J Mossman

It’s back! After being unpublished for almost a year, Down by the River has had a rewrite and now back on sale.

Description

Shelby’s vision brings her home to the place she tried so hard to escape from.

Her best friend, Mary-Jo, has gone missing. When her body turns up by the river, Shelby’s visions become more disturbing.

Who is the killer?

Why is her vision so incomplete?

Rawden Hughes, the town’s sheriff, blighted their childhood. Did he make a claim on her that went wrong? Or could it be Mary-Jo’s drifter boyfriend, who was driven out of town for a crime never proved?

Returning to her childhood home, Shelby has to face her drunken Pa and the crumbling old house she grew up in.

Can she confront her past, whilst dealing with the guilt of leaving behind her best friend?

With the truth revealed, will it finally set her free?

‘A dark and foreboding tale to enthral you.”

What the Reviewers Say:

‘A great little read I finished in one sitting. Perfect for busy days! Well written and atmospheric, and is about Shelby, a young girl who fled her drunken father after the death of her mother. She’s back in town to visit her friend Mary – Jo but discovers she is missing. When her body is found by the river, all fingers point to her bad guy boyfriend, Ricky. But all is not as it seems and Shelby is determined to discover the truth. A great read which left me wanting more!


– Chanatkins

This is the first story I have read by this author. For such a short story, it was very deep. The characters were relatable and real to life. I’d love to find out more about these characters.

Karen J Mossman did an excellent job of appealing to my emotions and keeping me on the edge of my seat. Only problem – I didn’t want it to end.

Amazon Customer

You got any ideas? — Ramblings from a Writer’s Mind

(A short story ©Paul White) She is a 1970 Dodge Challenger RT. Ya know the one, like was in that film, vanishing something… anyways, when I got her she was as rusty and as bent as an old pie tin in a trash can. Now, ha, well. I’ve sorta darned gone an put my mark […]

You got any ideas? — Ramblings from a Writer’s Mind

Our Latest Short Story from Karen J Mossman

We have a whole library of free short stories, all genres and lengths. if you do read one, leave a review in the comments.

Meanwhile, I’ve revamped a story I wrote many years ago. If you like short, twist in the tail stories, you might like this.

Oh, Dobbin.

A short story by Paul White.

A short while ago I began reading some of my old journals. I have kept a diary since, well, I suppose from the day I learnt to string two sentences together.

Much of the content of my diaries are pretty mundane. For instance, I could tell you what the weather was like on a Sunday six years ago, or which bar I went into to celebrate passing my driving examination.

Yeah, boring!

Yet, now and again I recorded an event which, on reading them back, makes me laugh, cry, or as in the tale I am about to reveal to you, blush with embarrassment.

To place this story in context I need to tell you a little about myself. My name is Heather. I am 32 years old and single, not having found the right Mr. Right… yet.

I consider myself a modern woman, one with a balanced outlook on life. I guess you could say I am Miss average. The only thing that is not average is my sex drive. I enjoy sex immensely. However, this is not really a story about sex per se.

Now, when I say sex, I do not mean to infer I am a loose woman or one who indulges in strings of one-night stands. I am not a nymphomaniac. On the relationship front, my record is back to being a Miss average and no, I do not sleep with anyone on a first date.

As Miss average, regarding relationships, I spend most nights alone. This is where my craving for sex, and not having a partner to satisfy my needs are in discord. To help balance this fact I have a few toys because, as you know, passion comes in many forms, and one night’s want often differs from another, so the toys I own have been selected with care to satisfy my needs according to my moods, wants, and desires at any given time.

This brings me to my journal entry of two years ago. It is from the day I was moving home.

The last few pieces of furniture, a comfy reading chair, a computer desk, and my bed were the last items I needed to move to my new house. My nephew John, my sister’s eldest boy, was kindly helping me to move these as he owned a transit van, which would save me paying for a removals company.

The last item to be shifted was my bed. This was a divan. A solid base, which is luckily divided into two, making moving it easy, topped with a pocket sprung mattress. The mattress was quite heavy and cumbersome. Something I knew from changing the fitted sheets and pushing the bed aside to vacuum underneath. John and I decided we would lift the mattress, push it off the far side of the bed and onto its side, and then slide it through the bedroom doorway.

We lifted the mattress in unison, revealing what I stored between the mattress and the bed base. It was ‘Dobbin’. The largest of all my sex toys, and named as such because of its equine proportions.

I uncontrollably gasped out, “Oh, Dobbin.”

To give John his due, he simply let the mattress fall back and said, “I think we need a break from all this lifting. How about you make a cuppa? I’ll just nip out for a smoke.” And with that, he exited the room swiftly.

Just to make it clear, Dobbin is long and black, with a proportionate girth. He has moulded veins and glans, and is described as ‘Realistic, firm, yet comfortably cushioned’. The company that produces him say, Dobbin is the closest vibrator to the real thing a woman can own. As yet, I cannot confirm this, as I have not found any ‘real thing’ that measures up to him.

I was left standing, biting my bottom lip and cursing myself for not remembering to pack Dobbin into a box. The thing was, Dobbin is far too large to store in the bedside drawers, so I keep him under the mattress where he is, normally, out of sight.

I removed Dobbin, popping him into a carrier bag and, as discreetly as I could, took him into the kitchen, where I made us each a mug of tea.

The drive to my new home and the unloading were carried out with very little conversation. Neither of us knew what to say and, clearly, did not want to refer to this embarrassing incident.

However, this is not the end of the tale.

Several weeks later I was at a family christening, when John came over to me, asking if I had settled into my new home.

He then continued by saying, “Aunt Heather, have you ever considered the reason you are still single is that you have never found a man who… um… measures up to Dobbin?”

My mouth fell open.

“Don’t worry,” John said, “I haven’t told anyone, not even Chrissy.” Chrissy is John’s fiancée. With those words left hanging in the air, he was off, circulating the room and chatting with the other guests.

John’s words got me thinking. Maybe he was right. So, next week I am appearing on a TV show. You may have watched it. It’s called Naked Attraction.’

The benefit is, that I get to go on a date with one of six men I select based on their physical attributes. Top of my list was that all the contestants must be ‘Hung like a Horse.’

Wish me luck.


mybook.to/wtipentacle

Diary of a Covid Sufferer by Karina Kantas

Most people think Covid has gone away, it hasn’t. It’s still lurking. Our author Karina Kantas is keeper a diary on her blog. Follow her here.

This is my personal journey as a sufferer of Covid. It will be updated every day so make sure to follow the blog and come back DAY ONE We managed to …

Diary of a Covid Sufferer

The Latest Electric Eclectic Book

Bangkok Wanton, Tony McManus’s gripping crime drama, the second book in the Mike Villiers Series, is the latest Electric Eclectic book.

Crime pays in Thailand. Big time. Corruption and graft are rampant among its powerful elites. It’s mafias, and family crime clans rule. Thai politicians, police, courts, and military brass are in their pockets.

For Ray Coombs, life was perfect, until the bad men took it from him. What followed wasn’t nice. Then Mike Villiers got involved.

“Tony McManus gets down and dirty on the seamy, corrupt side of life in the Land of Lawless Smiles. The narrative is fast and relentless”

BANGKOK WANTON, an Electric Eclectic eBook/Kindle, from Tony McManus

Betty by Rick Stepp-Bolling

Chris, I’m writing this letter to you knowing you will never receive it. There are several reasons for that, but I’m sure you will understand that your mental instability probably ranks highest on the list.

Your mother is dying. At this moment she lies on a hospital bed at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Tucson. I wonder if you remember that she has lived in Tucson for nearly a decade and considers it home? As the wife of an Air Force colonel, home meant wherever she was currently stationed for three years. By contrast, ten years was practically a lifetime and translated into friendships on a semi-permanent basis, knowledge of all the back roads to and from her residence in the Catalina Mountains, and a home decorated in Southwestern finery that only an interior designer could manage. All of those vanished in a blink of an eye and the smallest movement of a blood clot in the brain creating a massive stroke powerful enough to disrupt the circuitry of the entire left hemisphere. God, if there is one, works in mysterious ways, Chris, and this perhaps, the most enigmatic of all.

Your mother is seventy. When I entered her room for the first time, she lay flat, her white hair matted, lifeless, her eyes fixated on a moment in time, not on anything tangible. Then her eyes opened and met mine. There was an instance of recognition and a gray-blue fire leaped to life within her. Her left arm held the I. V., which dutifully clicked and dripped; her right arm, motionless, lay to the side, a useless limb. Her right shoulder looked blackened, a bone extruding out where it should not have been, the result of her fall after the stroke. Her eyes locked on me with surprise, recognition, and what I think was a touch of anger. She wanted me there and she wished me gone. I felt the ground become unstable below me.

Your younger sister, Ann, had met me at the airport. She had just recently arrived from Iowa where she had taken an emergency leave from her work and from her own hospital adventure. Scheduled for surgery in another week, she should have been resting or mentally preparing instead of spending her days by her mother’s side and her nights popping tranquilizers. There is no justice in being human. Ann, if you remember, is some ten years younger than you with two daughters and an administrative position at ACT. She supervises the creation of the Pre Law Exam. She was the one you claimed betrayed you, and you threatened to take away her children. It was another reason she hadn’t talked to you in over ten years.

When Ann walked into the room, she did not hesitate. She spoke with a voice committed to lightness but with no truth behind her words or tone. Her voice spoke more of despair and less of hopefulness. The “Hi Mom,” woke your mother from the edge of some unseen pit. Again, her eyes focused with cognition, lit, then dimmed. The nurses dutifully entered, changed bags, I. V. or urine, fixed her position, checked her vital signs. The food service came and packed away her uneaten food. Aides arrived to comb hair, exchange linen, clean floors. There was a business involved with dying—not to be interrupted or disturbed by the last days of someone who had outlived her usefulness.

Even so close to death, this woman had not lost her sense of humor. My weak jokes provoked a brief explosion of air and sound which all of us took to be a laugh. Throughout the morning I maintained the levity, maintained the farce. What I wanted to truly do was rush out of the room, get away from this dying woman and rage at the cruelty of life and mourn my own mortality. By afternoon I had been drained of all of it. The humor, energy, defiance . . . all I had left were tears, and so I sobbed onto Ann’s shoulder, and she on mine, and the day passed into the heat of the Arizona evening.

We spent the night huddling with the memories of our childhood. We played “Do you remember . . . “ into the night, laughing at the ghosts of our former selves—so foolish and innocent in our youth. Then the house suffocated us with its desert flower arrangements, playhouses complete with miniature furnishings, and the wall photographs of dead and dying people. Sobered, we slipped into our rooms hoping to find a kind of peace within the darkness.

Morning found us in the hospital once again. I steeled myself against the antiseptic smells and clinical efficiency of early morning routines. The physical therapists had arrived at the same time as the aide who changed the sheets and sponge-bathed your mother. Attempting to speak, only two words escaped and those barely discernible. Even my feeble efforts to help her communicate, blink once for yes and twice for no, proved futile. The few words she spoke sounded alien. Her brain simply would not allow access to the words she wanted to use. Finally, after a day of struggling, we understood what she wanted from us. Grabbing my hand with her left hand, she placed it on Ann’s hand. “Cousin,” I said. She responded in her unearthly language, but nodded. Then she said something unintelligible, but pushed us away from her. My heart broke. “You want us to leave,” I said quietly. She nodded. She repeated the gesture, placing my hand in Ann’s. “Always,” I said. And that was the last time I saw her.

I tell you this, not because it will make sense to you, not because it will make sense to me, but because all stories must have an ending. Two weeks later, a woman in the hospice called and said your mother died peacefully in the night. I am sure those words were rehearsed with great care. Your mother died and perhaps she was at peace, but the words were for the living to give whatever comfort someone else’s death can give us. This is all I have for you . . . words. I don’t know where you are, I don’t know if your private hell has swallowed you again or if you have found the redemption of sanity in an insane world, but these words are for you.

Tony McManus joins Electric Eclectic

Introducing the latest author to join our Electric Eclectic family, let’s give him a warm welcome.

Tony hails from Manchester, England, but has a touch of the ‘Wild Geese’ about him.

To serve his passion for travel, Tony has worked as an English teacher, Bartender, Taxi driver and, in southern Africa, on construction work in the Transvaal goldmines, and the copper mines of Zambia.

He spent a year as a Special Forces mercenary in Central Africa.

He is a keen outdoorsman, sailor, kayaker, and canoeist, he also loves hiking, back-country skiing, and snowshoeing, he now resides, alternately, in Chiang Mai, Thailand, and Ste. Adele, Quebec, Canada.

Tony has five novels under his belt.

THE IRAN DECEPTIONa stand-alone espionage novel set in Israel, England, and the USA.

THE SUM OF THINGSbook #1 in the James Fallon SAS Series.

UP FOR ITbook #2 in the James Fallon Series.

A BANGKOK INTERLUDEbook #1 in the Mike Villiers Series.

BANGKOK WANTONbook #2 in the Mike Villiers Series.

Tony’s first Electric Eclectic book is dua shortly.

A Touch of Venom by Rick Stepp-Bolling

I first met Gandolf just outside Beggars Crossing, Arizona, where he saved my life . . . twice. I say Gandolf only because I never knew what else to call him since he never introduced himself and he’s exactly what I imagined Gandolf–the White, not the Grey–would look like, if in fact, Gandolf had actually existed and spent his time wandering the Sonora desert some fifty miles east of Tucson instead of roaming the mountains of New Zealand. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let me explain.

​Beggars Crossing had the distinction of being the final destination of one Samuel Beggar in the late 1860s. Samuel had set out for California gold from West Virginia after the war. He made it as far as the Arizona Territory before he ran out of provisions, money, and desire. The vision he saw to the Westwas daunting—high red cliffs and a hurt load of white sand between him and the Catalinas. He made it as far as Rattlesnake Gorge at the base of the cliffs when the spirits spoke to him in a dialect only one from West Virginia could understand, telling him he would forever more be the inspiration for those seeking redemption. Samuel agreed to set up shop right then and there if the spirits would be so kind as to keep him alive a few more years. Apparently, it was a mutual agreement, for Samuel founded the town after his own ordeal and made his fortune selling water and whiskey to travelers heading west.

​Beggars Crossing has since become a pilgrimage for those seeking salvation from the wear and tear of modern civilization and all its supposed evils. Travelers from around the world come here during the monsoon season just to make the same trek Samuel did, hoping to be equally inspired by the spirits of the desert or those in Rattlesnake Whiskey, distilled to this day in Beggars Crossing.

​As an apprentice reporter for the Los Angeles Press, it was my job to follow up on the offbeatangles that no one else on the paper wanted—UFO, Elvis, or Miley Cyrus sightings. That’s how I wound up in Beggars Crossing, notebook in hand and without a need for redemption or sobriety. 

​“You say the town used to be over that rise?” I said to the man with the white beard and eyes of doom.

​“Used to be,” he said without an accent but withthe distinct odor of Virginia whiskey on his breath. “Used to be, but I can’t attest to that any more.”

​He held up his cane with the handle shaped like some wild bird as though he were about to lecture me. For a moment, I saw the same bird reflected in his eyes, but it was only a moment, and the weather being what it was, the image could well have been a thundercloud or glaucoma. “Where do the pilgrims go when they cross that expanse?” I asked pointing to the desert that shimmered like a watery grave.” There must be some kind of housing arrangement?”

​“Can’t say,” he said too quickly. “Maybe they carry their own houses with them?”

​He fixed his glare upon my notebook. “You mean tents,” I said trying not to stare at the folds of skin between his eyes. “They carried tents with them . . . not houses.”

​He shrugged his shoulders and a small dust storm arose from his shirt. “They carried troubles with them. Maybe tents, but mostly troubles.” Then he showed me his yellow teeth, sharpened like tiny knives, in a kind of grin that sent ice into my veins.

​I scribbled something unintelligible in my notebook until the feeling passed. The reporter in me gnawed, begged to be released, forcing another question I didn’t want to ask. “Troubles? What kind of troubles?”

This time he smiled. It was a toothless smile where the edges of the mouth rise like cracks in summer mud flats. “The kind you don’t want,” he said. The kind that haunt you every minute, every day of your life until the burden to keep carrying them bends your back and bows your shoulders, and the agony of that burden decays your whole being from the inside out until one day it explodes and evil erupts into this world.” Then he nudged me with the end of his cane so that I lost my balance and stepped backwards. “You got any of those troubles?” he hissed.

​“I . . . I’m just here to get a story.” Maybe I sounded too defensive for when he paused, his cane inches away from my chest, something like surprise filled his eyes.

​His hands trembled as he planted his cane into the white sand beneath him, his body sagging under the weight of time, and for the briefest of moments he appeared fragile, hollowed by the ravages of years and ready to blow away with the first strong wind. Then his lungs filled with the heated air and he straightened his shoulders and raised his head. “A story? There are a thousand stories to be told here. Just listen to voices carried by the winds. They’ll tellyou stories that’ll make the flesh fall off your bones.”

​I didn’t know how to respond to that. His use of hyperbole and concrete images elicited my demons of college literature, professors frothing up Coleridge or Milton, speaking in poetic tongues I didn’t understand. “I’m writing a story about the pilgrimages made at Beggars Crossing. It’s my editor’s idea. I just do the story or get fired,” I said.

​“The story you write will get you fired,” he returned.

​That made sense in a Machiavellian kind of way, because I was sure if I wrote the story about this funny man and his apocryphal end of the world, my boss would fire me or put me in drug rehab. The idea that sanity had not visited Gandolf for many a moon crossed my mind. “Well, I think I’ll get some quotes from the pilgrims themselves,” I said edging toward my VW Jetta. “Know anywhere around here that sells diesel?”

It was then that fate took a hand in the game. Rattlesnake Gorge was not a name chosen at random. The heat of the afternoon drove critters to find shelter in shady spots, usually underground or under large boulders. Apparently in the eyes of some snakes, my VW resembled the closest thing there was to a large boulder in the middle of this sea of white sand. When I opened the car door, my foot slipped beneath the car and woke a particularly nasty red diamond back. Evidently upset at having his sleep disturbed by a Converse tennie, he lashed out at the nearest warm-blooded appendage and sank his venom fangs into my leg. Neither one of us was too happy at what ensued. I stepped back and did my best one-legged hopscotch imitation, the rattler still attached to my leg and whirling around like a mad lariat. Gandolf, for his part, leaned upon his staff watching my death dance with bemusement. It wasn’t until the pain increased that my hopping decreased. Now this next part gets a little crazy and I’m not sure if rattlesnake venom had a part in my delusion or Beggars Crossing’s sun did. The old man slowly raised his cane and pointed it in my direction. A raptor, the size of an ancient roc appeared out of nowhere. The bird seized the rattler in his steely talons and ripped him from my leg. The last thing I remember was the bird and the rattler flying due west. Then I passed out.

When I awoke again, I was staring into blue eyes. Nothing else made much sense at the time, but blue eyes certainly helped put a proper perspective to the moment. “Can you hear me?” came the voice of the blue eyes.

​I was hesitant, groggy, hopeful. I was hoping that Gandolf didn’t have blue eyes or blue contacts. In addition, I wasn’t altogether sure that relatives greeting me in heaven weren’t blue-eyed. 

​“Can you sit up?”

​Well, that answered one question. If I were at the Pearly Gates, sitting up would not be something someone wanted to know. Wings, harp or halo, yes. Abs, no. I struggled to a sitting position.

​“Take a sip of this,” and a bottle of something much stronger than water passed my lips.

​I coughed, but let the liquid warm my throat until it sunk into my stomach and a rosy feeling like Christmas Eve made its way through my body. My mouth searched for more of the liquid, but there was none to be had.

​“I think he’ll live,” came the response from blue-eyes.

​Then the haze disappeared and I found myself looking into the face of an angel. Okay, a man, but angel is the closest description I can use without having to go into extended passages about the firm jaw with a set of white teeth that made Kilimanjaro blush with envy, or the nose that may well have led Augusta’s army into battle against the Egyptians, or the perfect ears that framed . . . well, you get the idea. “I . . . I . . .” I stammered.

​“It’s okay. We found you in the desert. Some of the pilgrims heard you moaning and called 911. Heat exposure.”

​I grabbed my leg, but all I felt was the thin hair that covered my skin. No bite marks, no oozing, no blackening of decayed skin. Then I remembered the wild bird with the angry snake in his mouth, the old man with the cane, and my Jetta.

​I looked around me. An ambulance with its lights flashing was the only vehicle. My Jetta, the bird and Gandolf had disappeared.

​“We usually get one or two calls every year,” the angel said. “People don’t hydrate properly, but by the looks of it, you were only here a couple of hours.” Blue eyes flashed my notebook in front of me. Every entry had a date and time. I was very methodical about that sort of thing.

​I tried my voice. It sounded like aluminum foil being crushed, but at least I could speak. “The old man,” I said, “there was an old man.”

Blue Eyes turned around hoping to find the individual I was referring to. Finding no one, he spoke to the other EMTs. “Anyone see an older man?”

A young woman in hiking boots with canteens attached to her at every conceivable spot spoke up. “He was alone when we found him. Alone and unconscious.”

Angel nodded his thanks. “Keep an eye out for anyone else around here,” he told his staff.” Then he turned to me and said, “What were you doing out here? Were you on the pilgrimage?” He was staring at my converse shoes, my khaki pants, and my very pale skin.

“I’m a reporter,” I said lamely. “I was doing a story on the pilgrims at Beggars Crossing.”

“The redemption thing?” he asked.

I nodded.

Then he leaned over and whispered into my ear, “Did you leave a trouble?”

It was so unexpected that I just sat there with my mouth open.
Then he broke into a perfect smile with his perfect teeth and said, “It doesn’t matter. I’m just glad you’re safe. Did you get enough material for your story?”

It all came back to me in a rush—Beggars Crossing, the raptor, the old man and our conversation. It was more than enough for a story, but it would be a story no one believed, especially my editor.

So this is the story of Beggars Crossing. Now that you’ve read it, you’ll need to decide for yourself what was real, what was imagined, what was sun or venom induced. My editor liked it, but fired me anyway. Said there was a very strict drug abuse clause in my contract with the paper. My Jetta? It never returned and so I bequeathed it to the old man. I hope he has more luck finding diesel in Arizona than I did. That just about sums it up. Wait. If you’re wondering why I said he saved me twice, well, you already know about the snake, and now you know about the angel who saved me—Sam